Pony Stampede Practice Notebook

The Pony Stampede staff will have daily practice reports throughout the season to keep subscribers up to date on everything SMU football

Offense Sharp in All Aspects

The SMU Mustangs convened Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. to continue preparing for Baylor on Sunday, and the offense again looked sharp. Not only was quarterback Garrett Gilbert sharp, but running back Zach Line showed plenty of burst during team periods against the defense.

Gilbert's command of the offense is evident by his demeanor at the line of scrimmage and how he has taken control of the offense.

Gilbert audibled out of many plays during scout periods and hit big plays because of it. That type of command of June Jones' Run N' Shoot this early should help the Mustangs out a lot this Sunday.

Special Teams Big Focus

The team spent plenty of time also working on special teams today. There were multiple periods of kickoff and punt units being out. With as competitive as this Baylor game could be, the special teams will have to come up big and make a play for the Mustangs.

The question is who will be handling the kick return duties and right now it looks like wide receiver Der'Rick Thompson and linebacker Kevin Pope will be getting the nod. Both have returned kicks in practice for a couple of years so that will definitely help them feel comfortable before the big stage on Sunday.

Defense Keeping Secrets?

The defense has also amped up their preparation for Baylor and the scout team offense had an increased pace today from what I could see across the field. The defense changed the field they practice on and were shielded from reporters by the players standing on the side.

The scout team offense did focus on picking up the pace and occasionally would run quick back-to-back plays to help prepare for the high-octane Baylor offense. There wasn't much to pick up, but it was an interesting move by the coaches to switch fields and shield their action.

Practice Notes:

- Derek Longoria was back at practice today

- Der'rikk Thompson caught a hitch and turned it into a big gain against the defense.

- Bob Palcic got on Kris Weeks for not getting up to the second level on a screen play during scout period.

- Gilbert audibled and hit a streaking Thompson for a TD.

- Thompson caught a rope from Gilbert on the sideline and kept one foot in.

- Arrius Holleman dropped an easy ball from Gilbert.

- Gilbert was on the money all day including a deep ball on the outside shoulder of Jeremy Johnson.

- The defense continued to prep for Baylor on the far field with players completely blocking my view.

- Kenneth Acker did leap up and make a huge interception during scout period.

- Former Mustang OL J.T. Brooks was at practice today.

- About 20 players stayed on the field later to work the jugs machine, throw to receivers and work on technique.

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